Page 1174 - Week 03 - Thursday, 22 March 2012

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Legal Aid Commission—annual report
(Question No 1990)

Mrs Dunne asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 14 February 2012:

(1) In relation to the 2010-11 annual report of the Legal Aid Commission, to what extent will the mitigation of the risk of financial liquidity reduce frontline services to clients.

(2) Does the Commission expect to be able to maintain or improve on the 68% approval rate against applications received, page 21; if not, why not; if so, how.

(3) What was the quantum of the efficiency dividend and other cost saving measures that the Commission was required to achieve in 2010-11.

(4) Were those targets referred to in part (3) met; if not, why not.

(5) To what extent did these dividend and savings measures impact on service delivery.

(6) How is visitation to the website trending since July 2011.

(7) What was the total cost of staff learning and development during the reporting period as a percentage of total employee costs.

(8) What is the Commission’s target percentage cost of learning and development to total employee costs.

(9) When is it anticipated the Commission will meet that target.

(10) What is the aged analysis of payables as to current, that is, within trading terms, overdue (a) up to 30 days, (b) 30-60 days, (c) 60-90 days and (d) 90 days or more.

(11) What strategies does the Commission have in place to ensure creditors are paid within terms.

(12) Does the Commission pay interest on overdue amounts; if not, why not; if so, how much was paid in 2010-11.

(13) How long does it take, on average, for creditors’ invoices to be processed to the accounting system after receipt.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Commission manages demand within the resources available to it. As noted in the annual report, the impact of expensive criminal cases continues to be of concern and consideration is being given to how the impact might be lessened.

The Commission does not anticipate any reduction in preventative, early intervention, duty lawyer, advocacy, dispute resolution or community legal education services. Whether grants of legal assistance will be affected depends on factors such as the level of demand, the number of expensive criminal cases funded by the Commission and future revenue levels. The Commission is continuing to monitor the situation with a view to minimising the impact on the delivery of services.

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